Orange County elections office says 'no intrusion' after Bill Nelson declares Russians breached Florida voter system

by

comment
The Orange County Supervisor of Elections office says its unaware of any "unauthorized intrusion" into its system after U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson declared Wednesday that Russian operatives had "penetrated" some of Florida's voter registration systems.

Nelson made the comments Wednesday to the Tampa Bay Times.



"They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about," Nelson told the Times. "We were requested by the chairman and vice chairman of the intelligence committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records."

Last month, Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to county elections supervisors across the state, telling them to take advantage of federal help
to make systems more secure against a "hostile foreign government." But the Florida Department of State has pushed back against Nelson's recent statements, saying it has received "zero information from Senator Nelson or his staff that support his claims."



"The Department has received no information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that corroborates Senator Nelson's statement and we have no evidence to support these claims," the agency said in a statement. "If Senator Nelson has specific information about threats to our elections, he should share it with election officials in Florida."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security told the Times Thursday that it had also not seen "any new compromises by Russian actors of election infrastructure."

The Orange County Supervisor of Elections office says safeguards are in place to ensure that every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot and every ballot cast is counted.

"We are unaware of, and have received no confirmation of, any unauthorized intrusion into our election systems," according to a statement from the office. "We continue to work with federal and state resources to secure our systems and have full confidence in the integrity of our elections."

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.